USA Today: Former GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger endorses Biden, calling Trump a 'direct threat' to country

Former Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois endorsed President Joe Biden's reelection bid Wednesday ahead of the first presidential debate, arguing former President Donald Trump poses "a direct threat to every fundamental American value."

Kinzinger, who sat on the select House committee that investigated Trump's role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, in a video posted online said, "As a proud conservative, I’ve always put democracy and our Constitution above all else."

"And it’s because of my unwavering support for democracy, that today, as a proud conservative, I am endorsing Joe Biden for reelection," he said.

The endorsement gives the Biden campaign a boost as the president tries to flip anti-Trump Republicans to Biden's side. The Trump campaign mocked Kinzinger's backing.

“Who’s Adam Kinzinger? Isn’t he the crybaby?” Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said in a text message.

Kinzinger, one of 10 House members who voted to impeach Trump after the Capitol riot, retired from Congress rather than face a fierce primary election in 2022.

"While I certainly don't agree with President Biden on everything, and I never thought I'd be endorsing a Democrat for president, I know that he will always protect the very thing that makes America the best country in the world: our democracy," Kinzinger said.

Kinzinger campaigned for Biden on Wednesday at the Georgia State Capitol, delivering a dire warning to officials in swing states to "be ready and be prepared" for allies of Trump to try overturn the results of the next election.

"The forces of Donald Trump have already had a dry run," he said of Jan. 6.

Former Georgia Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan, a Republican who endorsed Biden in May, and former Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, who competed in Democratic primary for Senate in Maryland this year, joined Kinzinger at the Atlanta press conference.

"It's time for us to purge Donald Trump from our system," Duncan said, calling on Republicans to spend the next four years remaking the GOP.

Trump and Biden are set to square off Thursday in Atlanta in the first presidential debate of the general election. It is hosted by CNN. Biden is courting Republicans who backed former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley in the GOP presidential primary and may be persuaded to vote for him in the general over Trump.

"He doesn’t care about our country. He doesn’t care about you. He only cares about himself, and he will hurt anyone or anything in pursuit of power," Kinzinger said of Trump.

"We saw that when he tried to overturn an election he knew he lost in 2020. He attacked the foundation of this nation, encouraging a violent mob of his supporters to march on the Capitol to prevent the peaceful transition of power," he added.

Kinzinger said Trump has now become "even more dangerous" as he seeks a second presidency, citing past remarks by Trump calling for the "termination" of the Constitution and that he wants to be a dictator on day one. "And he’s continuing to stoke the flames of political violence."

He urged others to united behind Biden to "show Donald Trump off the stage once and for all."

"There is too much at stake to sit on the sidelines," he said. "To every American of every political party and those of none, I say: Now is not the time to watch quietly as Donald Trump threatens the future of America."

 

Read the full article on USA Today's website, here.